Vespa Unveils Hybrid Scooters

We remember being sorely disappointed when we heard a rumor about Vespa and hybrid scooters; turns out it was an April Fool's joke. Imagine our delight when, In a strange twist of life imitating art, we found that Vespa is really developing hybrid scooters! There are two models in the works, based on the popular Vespa LX 50 (pictured) and the beefier Piaggio X8 125. Each will run on a combination of gas and electric (50cc gas, 1000W electric and 125cc gas, 2500W electic, respectively), with the hybrid drive train expected to boost power by 25% and reduce gas consumption by 20%. "Electric-only" mode will be available for low speeds, and the batteries will charge themselves from the engine (similar to current car models) while you're scooting. They will also plug in to a standard 220V (European) household plug to recharge the batteries in about three hours. The batteries for each live under the seat, so an extra storage space has been added to each for helmets and whatever else you might need while out and about. Sadly, these are just prototypes, though they're reportedly out scooting around Milan as you read this. We're keeping our fingers crossed that we'll see them soon! ::Retro Thing via ::Boing Boing

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